Hello Monaco Winter 2018–2019 HelloMonaco #05 Winter 2018–2019 - Page 69

E ven though Monaco’s Na- tional Day originated in the 18th century, not so far apart from American Inde- pendence in 1776, Monaco’s actual independence goes way back to 1297 when Francesco Grimaldi took the Rock from the Genoese and des- tiny, Monaco and the Grimaldis all bonded to take the Principality forward to this very day. It is all part of Monaco’s great heri­ tage blazoned into its coat of arms. Those two figures disguised as monks represent Francesco and Rainier Grimaldi who drew swords from beneath their monks’ robes and rid Monaco of the Genoese. Just think, through history, for over 700 years, just about every European power, near and far, Emperors, Kings, Dukes and Princes wanted a piece of the Rock. Invasions, occu- pations, unwelcome protection — Monaco kept its integrity throughout. Independence and statehood was the assured destiny of this Principality and proud nation. And all this is celebrated on National Day, also called Sovereign Prince’s Day on November 19th. Now as well as National Day, November 19th has another very special significance in Mo- naco. It is the date of Prince Albert’s acces- sion to the throne in 2005. Monaco Tradition © HelloMonaco © HelloMonaco Independence Day does, of course, have its own drum beat, its own rituals which are part of Monegasque culture. You certainly will not miss the day, even if you are a visitor from far away, the Prin- cipality is awash with Monegasque flags, sporting the red and white colours of the Grimaldi family. © HelloMonaco November is the most wonderful season in Monaco. It is chock-full of celebrations and concerts and fun for children. It’s as if Mo- naco has two Christmases. Don’t miss out on the jazz concerts, opera, ballet, the sym- phony and the galas. Independence Day does, of course, have its own drum beat, its own rituals which are © HelloMonaco © HelloMonaco Hello Monaco Winter 2018–2019 / 67